Oakcrest notebook: Merlock’s walk-off blasts Falcons past Hammonton

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oaknotes Jen Marra/Oakcrest’s Zach Morgan throws a pitch en route to a complete-game victory against Wildwood Catholic on April 22. Kenny Merlock belted a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Oakcrest High School baseball team an 8-5 victory over Hammonton on April 18. He finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

Freshman Ryan Johnson was the winning pitcher. He tossed a scoreless seventh inning in relief.

Johnson homered in a 14-4 win against Cape May Tech on April 19. The game was called in the sixth due to the 10-run rule.

Cameron Lease had a huge game, going 3-for-4 with a double, home run and five RBIs.

Oakcrest hosted the opening and consolation rounds of the Al Hedelt Tournament on April 21. The Falcons routed the Atlantic County Institute of Technology 13-1 in the first round. The game was called after five innings.

Johnson was the winning pitcher and helped his own cause by going 3-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored.

Oakcrest defeated Wildwood Catholic 12-1 on April 22.

Zach Morgan notched the complete-game victory. He also went 2-for-2 with two runs scored. Lease added two hits and three RBIs.

Millville cooled off the Falcons, winning 7-3 on April 23. Oakcrest grabbed a 2-0 advantage in the third inning, but the Thunderbolts responded with three runs in the fourth and led the rest of the way. Merlock went 2-for-2.

Keep an eye on: Oakcrest will face Pennsville in a Hedelt semifinal game on Saturday, April 27. Depending on the outcome, the Falcons will play in the title game or third-place consolation later that day.


oaknotes2 Matt Strabuk/Oakcrest hurdler Chase Toliver, 18, in center, shows his form during a race against Egg Harbor Township and Ocean City. Oakcrest 92, Hammonton 48
April 17
Chase Toliver captured wins in four events to help Oakcrest win this battle of unbeatens. His victories came in the 100 meters, 200, 110 hurdles and long jump.
Other multi-event winners were Ishmael Muhammad (800, 400 hurdles, 1,600 relay), LaDarrell Dixon (400, triple jump) and Isaiah Price (shot put, discus).

Woodbury Relays
April 20
Dan Jefferson won the Woodbury Relays high jump title with a leap of six feet, six inches.
The Falcons earned two seconds and two fourths in the Group III relay events.
They were second in the 1,600 sprint medley (LaDarrell Dixon, Chase Toliver, Luke Coffey, Ishmael Muhammad) and 4x110 shuttle hurdles (Toliver, Shane Bush, John Benard, Jefferson).
The fourths came in the 4x200 (Coffey, Quinn Hardrick, Jefferson, Toliver) and 4x400 relay (Dixon, Coffey, Alex Arrington, Muhammad).

Oakcrest 77, EHT 63
Oakcrest 102, Ocean City 38
Oakcrest ran its record to 7-0 by knocking off undefeated Egg Harbor Township – one of the area’s premier squads – and Ocean City.
Ishmael Muhammad placed first in the 800 meters and 400 hurdles, plus he ran a leg on the Falcons’ winning 1,600 relay team. Luke Coffey, Shane Bush and LaDarrell Dixon were his relay mates.
oaknotes3 Matt Strabuk/Oakcrest high jumper Dan Jefferson, 18, clears a six-foot jump, the highest of the day during the dual meet with EHT and Ocean City on April 23. Oakcrest also received individual wins from Chase Toliver (110 hurdles, long jump), Dan Jefferson (high jump), Ray Rodriguez (pole vault) and Dixon (triple jump).
Keep an eye on: Oakcrest hosts St. Augustine Prep and Millville on Tuesday, April 30.


Oakcrest 15, Winslow Township 2
April 18
Oakcrest blanked nonleague opponent Winslow Township 10-0 in the first half.
BryAnna Swanson and Taylor Burns scored three goals apiece to spark the offense. Amanda Burns and Aly Gutshall pitched in with two goals each.

Ocean City 12, Oakcrest 10
April 22
Alexis Sutley led Oakcrest with four goals, but Ocean City prevailed in overtime. Amber Richardson saved 14 shots for the Falcons.
Keep an eye on: The Falcons have an away game versus Our Lady of Mercy Academy on Monday, April 29.


Oakcrest 8, EHT 5
April 18
Oakcrest took a 6-3 lead into halftime after a 3-1 run in the second quarter.
Nick Verzicco was the winning goalie. He made 16 saves. Danny Smith led the Falcons offense with three goals. It was Oakcrest's first win over EHT in the history of the program.
Keep an eye on: Oakcrest hosts Middle Township in a clash of the CAL's top two teams on Monday, April 29.


Oakcrest 75.5, Hammonton 64.5
April 17
Seiarah Dennis sparked Oakcrest to victory. Dennis placed first in the 100 meters, 200, 100 hurdles and long jump.
Dominique DeFilippis also won multiple events. She earned victories in the shot put and discus.

Ocean City 99, Oakcrest 41
EHT 118, Oakcrest 26
April 23
Two Oakcrest athletes – Seiarah Dennis (100 hurdles) and Maggie Madamba (high jump) – won one event apiece.
Keep an eye on: The Rowland Relays are slated for Saturday, April 27, at Haddon Township.


Mainland 5, Oakcrest 0
April 17
Three of Mainland Regional’s victories against Oakcrest came by a 6-0, 6-0 score.

Holy Spirit 4, Oakcrest 1
April 18
Oakcrest’s point came courtesy of the No. 1 doubles team of Bobby Kelly and Kevin Kleitches. The duo registered a 6-2, 6-2 victory.

St. Augustine 5, Oakcrest 0
April 19
St. Augustine
’s singles players dropped just one game combined.

Oakcrest 4, Cedar Creek 1
April 22
Zachary Massey (6-3, 6-0) and Ashton Arthur (6-3, 6-3) triumphed in singles matches against Cedar Creek.
Oakcrest swept the doubles matches. The Falcons doubles teams were Nick Tomasello-Jordan Villamor (6-3, 0-6, 6-1) and Kevin Kleitches-Bobby Kelly (6-2, 6-2).

Atlantic City 5, Oakcrest 0
April 23
Atlantic City
won each match in straight sets.
Keep an eye on: The Cape-Atlantic League Tournament begins Tuesday, April 30.


Vineland 8, Oakcrest 0
April 18
tossed a perfect game en route to the shutout victory.

Pinelands 11, Oakcrest 1
April 19
Pinelands Regional scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth to end the game via the 10-run rule. Oakcrest’s offense generated just one hit.

Oakcrest 5, Wildwood Catholic 3
April 22
Logan MacIntosh registered a complete-game win. She allowed four hits and five walks.
Logan Day had two hits and two runs scored. MacIntosh added a double.

Mainland 6, Oakcrest 3
April 23
Oakcrest plated two runs in the first inning and maintained a 2-0 lead until Mainland’s four-run fifth inning. Falcons teammates Jessica Liepe and Devin Francz each had a double.
Keep an eye on: Oakcrest takes on nonleague opponent and host Woodstown on Monday, April 29.


Ocean City 162, Oakcrest 212
April 17
Joe Lynch carded a 46 versus Ocean City at Greate Bay (par 35). Jayson Smith, who shot a 49, was the only other Oakcrest player to break 50.

St. Augustine 164, Oakcrest 232
April 19
Jayson Smith shot a 53 to lead all Oakcrest golfers.
Keep an eye on: Oakcrest squares off with Absegami on Wednesday, May 1.


Oakcrest grad Cody Stashak pitched a no-hitter for Cumberland County against Middlesex County on April 21. Stashak struck out six and walked none as CC completed a doubleheader sweep. He hit a two-run RBI double in the first game. … Courtney Perkins was the winning pitcher in both games of a doubleheader for the Atlantic Cape Community College softball team against Lehigh Carbon. Perkins had two doubles and two runs in the first game, and three more hits in the second game. Another Oakcrest grad, Sara Wasserman, had two hits in the second game.

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